Cedar Bluff is a town in Cherokee County, in the northeastern part of the state. It was the site of a confrontation between U.S. Army raiders under Col. Abel Streight and Confederate troops under the command of Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest. Cedar Bluff has a mayor-council form of government. Nearby Weiss Lake provides ample fishing opportunities and has earned the town the title of “Crappie Capital of the World.” NASCAR driver Tina Gordon is from Cedar Bluff, and congressman John Lawson Burnett was born in the town.
Cornwall Furnace Cedar Bluff was first known as Jefferson, with early settlers arriving as early as 1832. When Cherokee County was formed in 1836, Jefferson served as county seat for a time. A sawmill and a flour mill were erected near the town by 1838. The town adopted the name Cedar Bluff in 1842 because of the numerous cedar trees in the area and its proximity to a bluff on the Coosa River. The town lost its status as county seat in 1844 to Centre, the current county seat, along with the growth related to that status. The town incorporated in either 1837 or 1845.
The town supported a number of businesses, including charcoal manufacturers, a tannery, a foundry, and a machine shop. It was also a cotton market for nearby farmers. The town and area around it were devastated by the Civil War, and the town was occupied by federal troops under Sherman’s command in October 1864. Railroad service to the town ended in 1947.
According to the 2020 Census, Cedar Bluff had a population of 1,683. Of that number, 84.3 percent of respondents identified themselves as white, 13.4 percent as African American, 1.8 percent as American Indian, and 0.5 percent as two or more races. The town’s median household income was $31,382, and the per capita income was $22,152.
According to the 2020 Census, the work force in Cedar Bluff was divided among the following industrial categories:
- Educational services, and health care and social assistance (29.8 percent)
- Retail trade (19.9 percent)
- Transportation, warehousing, and utilities (9.6 percent)
- Arts, entertainment, recreation, and accommodation and food services (8.5 percent)
- Construction (8.5 percent)
- Other services, except public administration (7.2 percent)
- Manufacturing (5.3 percent)
- Professional, scientific, and administrative and waste management services (4.1 percent)
- Public administration (3.8 percent)
- Finance and insurance, and real estate and rental and leasing (2.5 percent)
- Wholesale trade (0.8 percent)
Schools in Cedar Buff are part of the Cherokee County School system; the town has one K-12 school.
Cedar Bluff is bisected by State Highway 68, which runs north-southwest through the city, and State Highway 9, which runs east-southwest.
Events and Places of Interest
Black Crappie Cedar Bluff is located on Weiss Lake, created by the construction of Weiss Dam by the Alabama Power Company in 1961; the lake is described by the town as the Crappie Capital of the World. The lake provides numerous opportunities for recreation, including fishing, boating, and picnicking.
Cedar Bluff holds a number of annual events, including an Easter Egg Hunt, a Father’s Day Bass Tournament, a Liberty Day celebration, and the Lighting of the Park in December.
The Major Daniel Chisholm House is listed on the Alabama Register of Landmarks and Heritage. The Cornwall Furnace is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Cherokee County Heritage Book Committee. The Heritage of Cherokee County, Alabama. Clanton, Ala.: Heritage Publishing Consultants, 1998.
Miller, Dixie C. Visiting Our Past: A History of Cherokee County. n.p., 1986.